EM1605H "Understanding and Managing the Patient with Chronic and Severe Abdominal Pain" (IM GR-<050616)

This presentation addresses the biopsychosocial aspects of chronic abdominal pain. Using a case based format, the lecture covers the full dimensionality of the development, pathogenesis, clinical and physiological aspects chronic abdominal pain in a woman with a history of early trauma and psychosocial comorbidities. It discusses brain gut physiology with regard to pain signaling pathways, central modulation of pain, neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. Following this the lecture addresses associations of the pain with other conditions including opioid induced constipation and narcotic bowel syndrome. Finally the lecture concludes with a management approach using centrally targeted treatments.

Target Audience

UT Southwestern faculty, fellows, residents and medical students, community physicians, nurse clinicians, physician assistants and nurses.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • Understand the clinical and pathophysiological features of chronic functional abdominal pain
  • Identify the psychosocial co-morbidities in patients with chronic GI symptoms including early trauma
  • Understand the pathophysiological features of the brain – gut axis and the central regulation of pain
  • Understand the effects of opioids on gastrointestinal functional and the development of opioid induced constipation and narcotic bowel syndrome
  • Implement a rational approach to treatment of chronic abdominal pain using centrally targeted agents
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Douglas A. Drossman, M.D.
ROME Foundation Visiting Professor
President, Rome Foundation
Co-Director Emeritus, UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders
Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Psychiatry
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Hosted by the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA


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